So it’s funny, when we started telling people we planned to homeschool, a typical response was, “Oh, you’re an English teacher, you’ll be great at it!” Now, I have my thoughts about why being an educator doesn’t automatically qualify me to homeschool… but also: I have never taught anybody to read before! As a secondary educator, my certification only qualified me to teach 7-12th grades. So kids come to me already knowing how to read! Beginning to teach phonics especially gave me a few “take a deep breath” moments!
I’d heard about Logic of English last year from several friends of mine, so when we had the chance through The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew to review the Foundations Level A materials, I was interested to try out this program.
Teach Phonics with Logic of English
My core belief about teaching children to read is that they should learn the various sounds of language to decode words. This way, you eliminate the “guessing” game when kids are heavily dependent on sight words. Yes, there are high-frequency words memorized for better fluency, but a heavy dependency on sight words is limiting for children.
Teaching the sounds of words (phonics!) gives young readers the tools they need to break apart the language. This is crucial for when words become more complex as they move on up to higher grades.
Upon cracking open the wonderful range of materials sent in the Logic of English™ Foundations kit, I saw their philosophy of teaching reading strongly matches my own!
Materials for Logic of English Foundations Level A
We received a range of materials to aid in my homeschool reading curriculum:
- Foundations Teacher’s Manual – Level A (a new manual is needed for each level, A-D)
- Foundations Student Workbook – Level A. A colorful workbook that is used with each lesson.
- Basic Phonogram Flash Cards
- Phonogram and Spelling Rule Quick Reference
- Spelling Analysis Card
- Rhythm of Handwriting Tactile Cards – Manuscript
- Rhythm of Handwriting Quick Reference – Manuscript
- LOE Student Whiteboard
- Phonogram Game Cards
- Phonogram Game Tiles
- Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book of Sounds – used in Level A only
For the past several weeks, I have solely used Logic of English as our language arts program. We do 3-4 lessons per week, and my boys have both enjoyed the lessons. Our 3.5 year old sits in while I read Doodling Dragons, and sometimes takes part in the multi-sensory learning activities.
It took me a little while to get used to the teacher’s manual, because there are so many great sidebar suggestions for teaching! I wanted to do everything! However, I decided to focus on going through the main lesson, and using the kinesthetic suggestions for playing with the sounds.
There are so many other ideas for having themed snacks and activities to extend the learning experience throughout the day. Once I get us more firmly established with this curriculum, I will definitely add those features into our day!
My favorite aspect: What makes Logic of English stand out to me is how they take what might be tedious chanting of phonics sounds, and turn the learning into playful games for the students with multi-sensory activities that appeal to a range of learning styles. Here’s just a few ideas we’ve used:
- Building with Lego bricks for each sound
- Acting out words when sounds are blended
- Moving around the room to find blended words
- Stamping, coloring, and doodling as they match beginning sounds to pictures
What could be dry and dull has become a fun game-like experience for my kindergartener!
And, again, what I love best about the program as a whole is the concept of giving readers the tools to unlock ANY book at any level, once they’ve achieve mastery of phonemic awareness. I believe I’m setting my kids up for reading success far into the future with this type of program.
Using Logic of English for handwriting
After we do our sound blending activities, we practice handwriting. The tactile cards have proved extremely helpful for me, as I’m a right-handed person teaching a left-handed person how to write. Since he can’t simply “copy” my gestures or strokes exactly, being able to explain the shapes of the letter parts (roll, swing, down-scoop, etc), has given me a more focused way to instruct his handwriting.
Although we’ve started with Manuscript and are using that set of tactile cards, after reading their “Why Teach Cursive First” article, I am planning to switch to cursive in the fall.
I’ve been delighted with this program, and plan to continue with future levels into our first grade year!
What are your questions about how to teach phonics with Logic of English? I’d love to answer from my experiences!
To see other homeschool parents talking about the Logic of English program, click below!